New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis has told Kathimerini that his party will neither disband nor join forces with other opposition groupings to form a pro-European front in possible snap elections later this year.
Meimarakis, who replaced Antonis Samaras in the wake of the July 5 referendum, said there is no scope for a coalition with other parties.
“Our aim is for New Democracy’s views to be expressed,” he said. “Anyway, it is very difficult for there to be a coalition of parties because the current electoral law does not give the [50-seat] bonus to coalitions. This means I cannot see the dissolution of New Democracy or other parties in favor of a united European party.”
The former parliamentary speaker also said there are no plans for New Democracy to cease existing or for a new conservative party to be founded. “Parties have a long life in all countries,” he said. “They can renew, they can adapt.”
Meimarakis said early elections would be “catastrophic” for Greece but that if Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras decided to call them, New Democracy would focus its campaign on the 39 percent of Greeks who voted “yes” in last month’s referendum.
“When I say that New Democracy represents the reformist, social center, I do not mean the center in the narrow political sense,” he said. “I mean above all the center where the reforms can happen more effectively and fairly.”
According to the New Democracy leader, “labels such as center-right or center-left have to a great degree disappeared.”
“I would say the main distinction is between common sense and irrationality, between who is responsible and irresponsible, who is European or not,” he said.